White January: time to think about mental health care

“Everyone asks for mental health” is the theme of the campaign to raise awareness and encourage mental health care.

In your 9a In this edition, the Janeiro Branco campaign, conceived by psychologist Leonardo Abrahão and in partnership with other colleagues in the profession, invites society to reflect on mental health and encourages authorities to discuss strategies and public policies in this regard.

The campaign, according to Abrahão, alludes to the habit of, at the beginning of the year, people put their goals and objectives on a “blank page” so that they include mental health concerns among them.

According to Abrahão, Janeiro Branco aims to “reflect on the mental, emotional, sentimental, behavioral and subjective universes of human beings”, he told the THE SAO PAULO, emphasizing that it is necessary “to guide, democratize, demystify and popularize reflections and actions for prevention and care for mental health”.

According to the psychologist, the aim is to emphasize to everyone that mental health care “must be daily, planned and distributed in all aspects of human life: private life, social life, economic life, political life, cultural life, familiar life. From birth to the end of life”, he highlighted.


With the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, the world population was exposed to a series of situations of stress and social isolation with major consequences on mental health.

Reducing social interaction, prolonging time in front of screens, grief, fear of contamination, mood swings, sleep disorders are situations that ended up affecting emotions and quality of life.

Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that 18.6 million people in Brazil, about 9% of the population, suffer from anxiety-related disorders, such as apprehension, restlessness, excessive concern about the future, tachycardia, phobias. , between others.

According to the WHO, approximately 11.5 million Brazilians suffer from depression and also have mood swings, decreased ability to concentrate, sleep and appetite disorders, among others.

“The pandemic intensified the harmful side effects on the psychic health of a significant part of the population. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, depression, excessive and abusive use of psychoactive substances, prolonged time in front of electronic devices were some of the aggravated problems”, comments Abrahão, highlighting the need for effective public policies.

Abrahão reinforced the importance of monitoring mental health, which can take place among family members and friends, and also stressed the need to be aware of the signs: persistent and resistant discouragement, unjustified and systematic insomnia, abrupt and unjustified changes in patterns food and physical, dysfunctional aggression, dysfunctional passivity, high frequency of automatic distressing thoughts, uncontrollable suicidal ideation, compulsive and obsessive behaviors out of control, unsatisfactory and harmful levels of self-esteem, lack of self-sense in life and in personal relationships, among other indicators that the person’s life is not well.


Veruska Ghendov, a clinical psychologist, highlighted in an interview the growing demand for help in offices during the pandemic.

“Taking care of mental health is fundamental: it is about knowing how to recognize feelings, limits and respecting the signals that the body sends out when it is excessively exposed to stress”, he said, emphasizing the need to identify the time to ask for help.

The psychologist also recommended the need to “maintain a routine of physical exercises, a healthy diet, minimum sleep of seven hours a day, engage in some playful activity outside work, cultivate hobbies healthy, among others”, he said.

Another tip from the professional is self-knowledge to better manage day-to-day realities. “Knowing how to deal, for example, with problems, seeing them with the due importance and flexibility to understand the limits and situations around is important”, he pointed out.


According to data from the São Paulo City Hall, in the capital there are about 200 establishments dedicated to mental health care: The Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS), which treat cases of more severe, persistent and in crisis mental disorders; the Coexistence and Cooperative Centers (Cecco), aimed at psychosocial rehabilitation and generation of opportunities and resocialization, and the Family Health Support Center (NASF) are some of the means offered to the population.

The University of São Paulo (USP), in partnership with the Government of the State of São Paulo, since the beginning of the pandemic, has created a series of materials and activities on mental health with the aim of preventing mental illness and providing guidance in case of need. of help.

The “Self-esteem” program is an initiative of the Mental Health Technical Advisory of the State Health Department, together with the USP Institute of Psychology and other partners, providing virtual psychosocial care for the general population, adults and residents of the state. from Sao Paulo.

The initiative offers content for the population’s mental health, valuing the citizen’s role in the search for mental health, qualification for the Unified Health System (SUS) teams and the opportunity for care and promotion in mental health.

THE Inspiration website brings content about care, support and well-being for life, videos, booklets, podcasts that address mental health. The information is based on research and articles published or gathered by USP experts.

White January: time to think about mental health care

The platform has articles by researchers and professors involved in the field of mental health studies. There is space for publishing stories that inspire and support the care journey.

The idea of ​​the site came with a different purpose than the posts they have on the internet. The objective is not only for those who need help, but also for those who want to help with service or dissemination of knowledge.

Another USP project is “Dr. Risadinha: pode conta,” which uses social media to answer questions about health and attract young audiences. The project produces content on prevalent diseases, rare diseases, mental health, food, sleep, among others.